Harry and Meghan Markle’s interview has blown up the internet, the news and possibly the future of the British Royal Family, and the impact can in part be credited to the hit the Netflix show “The Crown”.
The Crown is a drama series based around the British royal family. The show begins with the end of George VI‘s era, moving onto covering his daughter Elizabeth II’s reign. The Netflix original has been a huge success with its personal and intimate coverage of the senior members of the royal family, who are known to be private otherwise. The general public’s interest in the family has increased since the beginning of the Netflix’s hit series. So much so, that it even empowered to come on screen and speak out in real life.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have broken protocol by speaking about their private lives with such candor. The interview has spiked the interest of the general public in royal affairs and hence increased the viewership of royal family shows like The Crown. Moreover, the TV show fits perfectly into this developing narrative.
The Marriage of Three
The last two seasons, the show has shifted the focus to Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales. In the last season, we find the queen sharing the spotlight with Lady Diana Spencer. One feels a certain level of sympathy for Charles by the end of Season 3. The show portrays him as a person trapped inside his role as heir apparent and unable to marry the person he loves, i.e. Camilla Parker Bowles.
But all that goodwill goes up in flames as the mistreatment of Princess Diana, who’s played wonderfully by Emma Corrin comes up in the show. People saw Charles as this insensitive person who prefers to be miserable and makes people around him miserable as well. He refuses to accept the reality and continues to be obsessed with a married woman despite agreeing to marry Diana.
His incessant whining and jealousy around Princess Diana’s popularity makes him an annoying and loathed character. The Prince of Wales played by Joshua O’Connor does wonderfully well to lose the audience’s love and affection in a single season. Though fictionalised, the show did a number of Prince Charles’ and his current wife, Camilla’s reputation.
In Season 1 and 2, we saw the battle between Princess Margaret and the institution regarding her marriage with Group Captain Peter Townsend. The whole affair left a bitter taste in everyone’s mouth. The only saving grace in this situation was the Queen’s love for her sister.
When the whole conundrum with Prince Charles and Camilla Shand happened, everyone threw their hands up in frustration due to the royal family’s ignorance of the damage this cycle causes. It gave away the impression that the family refused to grow out of its toxic traits despite being aware of the damage.
Another thing that The Crown brought to the limelight was the royal family’s disdain for common people and love for their traditions. In the second season, we see the disgust and sadness of the Queen and the Queen Mother at the occasion of meeting common people. The Crown was successful in establishing the British Royal family as this archaic institution refusing to evolve.
Meghan Markle and Diana
The death of Princess Diana sent shockwaves throughout the island and the world. The speculation and suspicion after her accident gave flames to her previous interviews where she had openly spoken up about how the family and Charles’ treated her.
A lot of people started comparing Meghan to Lady Diana after The Crown gave the general public a glimpse of what royal brides endure. More so after Meghan and Harry’s interview with Oprah where they both mentioned the late Princess’ name multiple times. This was a deliberate and clever attempt to draw light to a previous incident of mistreatment along with establishing themselves as the much-beloved Dianna’s son and daughter-in-law.
With the last season of The Crown fresh in people’s minds, it was very easy for the audience of the show to place Meghan in Diana’s shoes and hence empathise with her.
What’s Next for The Crown – In Reality and On TV?
Netflix has maintained that The Crown will end after six seasons which will come upto the early 2000s. As per the show’s creator Peter Morgan “I just think you get so much more interesting (with time),” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “Meghan and Harry are in the middle of their journey, and I don’t know what their journey is or how it will end. One wishes some happiness, but I’m much more comfortable writing about things that happened at least 20 years ago.”
Watch: The Crown’s portrayal of Prince Charles, Princess Diana and Camilla so far
But the show’s viewership is certainly going to skyrocket following the Harry-Meghan dramatic interview. Though, it puts the show in a critical spot as it has to stay neutral during the current anti-monarchy wave. It will be interesting to see the show’s reception along with the unfolding of the aftermath of Harry and Meghan’s interview.
Other than the Crown, Netflix features “The Royal of House of Windsor”, “The Story of Diana” and “Diana” amongst other shows relating to the British Royal family.